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Buying a Beach Tent Sun Shelter

Buying a Beach Tent Sun Shelter

15 minute read

Summer is coming and there are so many options when it comes to buying a beach tent. Gone are the days of one choice - grab the Beach Umbrella, jump in the car and off to the Beach.

Today, you merely have to stroll down to any beach in the summer, whether it's Bondi Beach, Surfers Paradise, Scarborough, or Byron Bay, to see as many diverse types of Sun Shelters as there are people on the beach.

So, how do you pick the best beach tents for your needs and, more importantly, provide sun protection from harmful UV rays?

This article takes a look at

  • Different Types of Beach Shelter structures available
  • The features & functions to look for in Beach Shelter
  • The Byron Bay Beach Shade under the microscope
  • Sun Shelter Comparison Table - a quick guide to how options stack up

Types of Beach Shelter & Beach Shades

There are many types of Sun Shelter options. There are pros and cons to each option and you may want to own many different ones depending on the type of beach trip you have planned.

Let's take a look at the many types of Beach Shelter structures available for your next beach trip.

Beach Umbrellas

One of the original Beach Sun Protection options is the Beach Umbrella. It has been around since the 1960s and is still one of the most common beach sun shelter structures owned today.

To be honest when you head down to the beach it is highly likely that the Beach Umbrella will be winning on numbers. For most people, the Beach Umbrella is their first option that springs to mind.

A Beach Umbrella's main feature is its shade. It is a single pole and you can adjust it for height while some have stands so that you can place the umbrella into sand or simply set up over grass, etc.

Beach Umbrellas are typically a single pole with one or two spokes. They come in many different styles from your standard tilt to the fancy 'automatic' umbrellas that open at the push of button. Prices can vary from relatively inexpensive to the top of the range luxury versions.

beach umbrella blue and white stripe

Pop Up Beach Tents

Pop Up Beach tents have multiple walls, roofs and usually has floor and some have a window frame on each side. They are multi-pole structures with inbuilt nets to provide shade as well as some privacy from people walking past your Beach Tent. They usually have no front walls so you can sit inside and look out.

Pop Up Beach Tents have been around for a while and are fairly common on the Sun Shelter scene.

Pop up tents come in a number of different shapes and sizes. Some are shaped like a house with multiple rooms which have windows and doors that open out onto the beach front.  

Pop Up Beach Tents are typically designed for 3-4 people to sit inside and given the walls can at times block the beach view and breeze.

The are fairly compact and often are packed up with a twisting motion back into a disc shaped bag.

An Easy Pop Up beach shelter will usually be installed by means of tent pins or via shovelling sand into pockets.

pop up beach shelter

Beach Cabanas

Beach Cabanas have up until recently been the domain of the USA or Europe however have recently made their way onto Australian Beaches.

Most Cabanas that you see on the Beach in Australia generally have a centre structure to support the fabric roof and 4- fabric drop corners with sand pockets that can be filled with sand for stability.

Beach Cabanas are normally one of the larger beach shade tents on the beach and come close to resembling the more traditional annex add ons that might be associated with a camping tent set up.

With the structure in place the Beach Cabana has a fixed roof set up which is directly above the frame. This is a great option when the Sun is high in the sky (say between 10 - 2) however for the earlier and later Sun hours - with the Roof unable to be adjusted the Shade can sit well outside the Cabana area itself.

Given their size and weight they come packed in a sizeable carry bag that can be carried by one person however generally two makes things a little easier.

Beach Cabana

A-frame Beach tents

A-frame Beach Tents or Beach Shades as they are more commonly known generally run on the principle of keep it simple.

They have been common place on Australian Beaches since the 60's and bring with them a retro charm

While they can vary in design and shape there are a number of common elements that run through the A-frame Beach Sun Shelters.

Typically made from a light frame structure with attached roof, and generally two upright poles and a crossbar these Beach Tents are a light weight beach tent to carry.

A-frame Beach Tents are compact in their carry bags yet offer a sizeable amount of shade for up to 4+ people.

A good A-frame Beach Tent will have numerous set up options so that are perfect for low sun, mid sun and low sun which will great for what ever time you arrive at the Beach.

Keeping it simple these Beach Tents are easy to set up and often have set up systems that can be performed by one person.

Secured to the sand in 6 places - normally four sand pegs and two upright pole holders the A-frame Beach Tent is one of the sturdiest Beach Tent options on the market easily able to withstand strong wind.

Allowing ample airflow on those hot beach days is a key feature of this Beach Tent allowing the sea breeze to pass through whilst remaining sturdy & secure.

Beach Tent Byron Bay Beach Life Nautical Yellow

What to look for in a Beach Shade - Features & Benefits

When it comes to what to look out for with the features and components of a Beach Shelter this will largely depend on how you are going to put it to use and how often you are going to use your Beach Tent.

Sun protection

Sun protection on Australian beaches should be at the top of the list for must haves. A UPF 50+ which offers top rated uv protection blocking approximately 98% of the Suns harmful UV rays.

Beach Tent Size

Before buying a beach tent you will need to weigh how sun shade & space you need. Consider the number of people you want to fit inside.

If you are only a few of you heading to the Beach perhaps a smaller Sun Shelter. However if you have a full crew perhaps a larger Beach Tent is the best option.

Quality Beach Tent Components & Fittings

Being exposed to salt air is beneficial to avoid steel components including Beach Tent Poles, Beach Tent Clips etc these will rust in the salt air over time often resulting in the Beach Tent parts breaking or rust marks on your fabric.

Avoid Steel poles & Frames there are definitely prone to rusting over time and will be particularly heavy. Aluminium Poles are a must have for your Beach Tent - strong, light weight and rust resistant.

Marine Grade Stainless Steel components for your Beach Tent are a must these will last for many Summers and ensure your Sun Shade doesn't mark your Sun Shelter canopy. Check that your Beach Tent clips, eyelets and any other small crucial fittings are not chrome or nickel plated Steel these will eventually break down and rust.

Sand Pegs are an essential tool to set your Beach Tent in sand. The best Beach Tent Sand Pegs are long, sturdy and made tough so they don't bend under the weight of your Beach Shade particularly when the sand is hard or the wind put pressure on the Beach Tent set up structure.

Stability in the wind

A Beach Shelter that can withstand significant winds and particularly wind gusts is indispensable. Some of Australia Beaches can be pretty unforgiving when the wind picks up and a Beach Shelter that can stand up to those gusts is critical.

A system that allows it to be fixed down to the sand at multiple points for extra stability in windy conditions.

Weight & Portability

The weight and pack downsize of the shade is really important to consider particularly if you are heading off on a well earned beach break and space in the car or luggage is tight.

The best beach sunshade you can easily carry with you down to a beach or even better one that can be carried by a child.

Fabric Quality

Any Beach Tent you choose should be made from a strong and durable material.

As discussed above the main factor here is to ensure that the Beach Tent Fabric offers the highest level of Sun Protection available. UV50+ really is the minimum you should be considering for the Australian Beach Climate.

Check that the sun protection fabric is able to be easily cleaned and water resistant is always a bonus for those passing beach showers.

Treatments are usually another item to consider with Anti Fade treatments being recommended to ensure that your Sun Shelter, one Summer in doesn't look like it has been around for a decade or so.

Easy to use - Set up & Pack Down

Whatever Beach Tent you choose make sure it is easy to assemble and pack down.

Wrestling with a Beach Tent set up at the Beach can be frustrating, time consuming and generally all round a highly unenjoyable experience. Equally packing down a Beach Tent needs to be a simple process with Beach Tent easily fitting into is carry bag and original shape

Check the Instructions. Most Sun Shelters have a limited number of steps to follow when assembling Beach Tents. The Beach Tent should have clear, easy to follow instructions - preferably a video that you can watch at the Beach would also help out.

Multiple Set Up Options

Whether you are heading to the Beach for the full day or just getting there early or late the Sun is constantly on the move. A Beach Shelter structure that has only one set up option and may not be able to move w

Style & Look

Although it may seem a little arbitrary when compared to its ability to protect you against the Suns harmful rays - looks do still matter. Choose a design and style that you like something that you like something that you are going to be comfortable with sitting under on your next Beach visit.

Byron Bay Beach Tents from Byron Bay Beach Life

One of Australia's most popular Beach Tent Online Retailers, Byron Bay Beach Life has been producing high quality A-Frame Beach Tent Collections for over 8 years.

Focussing on many of the key elements outlined above, the team at Byron Bay Beach Life have refined their Beach Shade to ensure that components, functionality and style are at top of mind when it comes to producing one of the best beach tents on the market. Their lightweight beach tent is a Premium quality offering that provides the highest level UV50+ Sun Protection together with cool prints with a retro, timeless style that wont go our of fashion.

Byron Bay Beach Tents - Kit Includes :

  • Beach Shade Canvas
  • Own Carry Bag
  • 30cm Sand Pegs
  • Small Mallet
  • Connected Ropes
  • Lightweight Aluminium Poles
  • Upright Poles Holders
  • Easy to follow instructions.

Byron Bay Beach Tents - Features & Components

  • Multiple Set Up Options  Classic "A" shape for high sun or "L" shape for low sun 
  • Compact Travel Size Carry Bag  Ideal for suitcase packing or carry on luggage
  • Beach Tent FabricStrong canvas specifically UV treated with an anti-UV agent 
  • Excellent 50+ Sun Protectionproviding approximately 97% UV+ Protection
  • UV Colour Fast Anti Fade highest level fabric colour fast 
  • Mould, Stain, Water  Treated to withstand mould, stain and water.  
  • StitchingStrong cotton - double stitching throughout with reinforced corners
  • Non Rust Rope ClampsNo knots to tie - ensuring easy, fast set up.  
  • Beach Tent PolesReinforced light Aluminium poles with Quick Connect System. 
  • Beach Tent RopesMarine grade ropes for superior strength & support
  • Aluminium Beach Tent Pole Holders x 2  assist with a strong structure & enable one person set up
  • Non Rust Eyelets  Heavy Duty solid Stainless Steel eyelets - rust resistant
  • Beach Tent Bag Zip  Heavy Duty Carry Bag zip to prevent jamming in sand
  • Security Pouch  Large, lockable Security Pouch / storage pocket on the inside of the Beach Shade for internal pocket storage of phones / keys etc.

Beach Tent Set up Options

Byron Bay Beach Tents - Dimensions

  • Beach Shade Canvas Sheet Size Approximately 330cm long x 180cm wide
  • Beach Shade Bag Size Approximately 75cm long x 38cm wide x 9cm high
  • Beach Shade Pole Height Approximately 180cm high
  • Beach Shade Kit Weight Approximately 3.4kg

Byron Bay Beach Shelter - Set Up & Pack Down Instructions

The team at Byron Bay Beach Life have put together a cool, easy to follow Instruction Video which demonstrates how if can b

Byron Bay Beach Tents - Customer Reviews

Melissa W - "Great Product - Perhaps my best 2020 Buy"

Byron Bay Beach Tent - Nautical Blue

"Great service, turned up quickly with no issues. Used the product for the first time on the weekend and I was so thankful to have it. Two hours sitting on the beach watching my kids in the hot weather would have been unbearable if it wasn’t for this shade! It was easy to put up and take down and really provided some good shade. I like that it blocks sun from the side (unlike other shades) but still lets a breeze through. Great product - very happy that I bought it!"

Tam C - "Best Shade ever!"

Byron Bay Beach Tent - Nautical Blue

"After bothering with the cheap and nasty beach shelters and umbrellas, we purchased the Byron Beach Life Tent. The tent was very presentable, easy to set up and the best thing is, you can enjoy a nice breeze while sitting under it! The alternatives cast very limited shade and are awfully hot and uncomfortable to sit under. We give Beach Life Tents a massive Thumbs up."

Brett H - "Our Beach Lifestyle just got an upgrade!"

Byron Bay Beach Tent - Nautical Yellow

"First time buying a Moana style beach shelter. So glad I did my research and found Byron Bay Beach Life online.Great quality, super stylish, easy to put up and take down and stands strong in a stiff breeze. Order and delivery was easy and it turned up in just a few days, very impressed. First time we used it at our local beach we even had a couple approach us to ask where we purchased it from... for reals! I'm not usually a review writer but just had to share our experience with Byron Bay Beach Life... completely satisfied on all levels. Thanks heaps! Great product."

Lee B - "Our Beach Lifestyle just got an upgrade!"

Byron Bay Beach Tent - The Tropics

"Love my new beach shade. As I’m regularly at the beach alone, I’ve struggled with all other forms of beach tent, either being hard to put up alone or hard to fold up the way it came out (pop up tents) particularly if it’s windy. This is so simple to put up myself, fold up and carry (so light). It’s also incredibly durable and handles wind well. I don’t feel it’s going to blow off down the beach if I leave it to go for a swim. It looks gorgeous and lets in a beautiful breeze also. Many people have commented on it also. Thank you for an awesome local product. I also bought the beach bag and sunblock. Best non nasties sunblock I’ve found. Smells divine and not heavy zinc like so many of them. It’s like putting on moisturiser! Beach bag is awesome also. Love the back straps. One very happy beach goer!"

Cathy A - "Love it"

Byron Bay Beach Tent - The Tropics

"I’m actually writing this review while I’m sitting underneath my great new beach shade! I was amazed how quick and easy it was to put up , and even though there’s a strong breeze it’s very sturdy . It projects plenty of shade and the pocket is great for valuables . The best thing is that I won’t have to chase my umbrella down the beach this summer. Love it!"

Beach Shelter Summary Comparison Table. Identifying the best Beach Tent option

As shown above it there can be a lot to consider when it comes to making a decision on the best Beach Tent for your beach going purposes.

The best beach tents will depend on your needs and preferences. Beach tents, pop-up tents, sunshades, cabanas or umbrellas all provide different benefits for various purposes at the beach.

To help you decide which of these is right for you, we've provided a summary table contrasting their features so that you can quickly find what's most important to you in an ideal shade/shelter option while still getting protection against UV rays.

Beach Tent Comparison Table


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